It’s safe to say when it comes to electric bikes, we are going to see more and more of them around the streets in the UK in the near future.
If you didn’t own an electric bike already, chances are, you just might need one now as the commute to work is set to become a lot more eco friendly.
We take a look at three different electric bikes on the market today for anyone with a budget of £500.
Thankfully, we no longer have to spend a small fortune to get an electric bike, they are much affordable than they used to be.
Let’s dig a bit deeper, and find out why an electric bike might be one of the best investments you can make in 2020!
The beginning of a new cycling era in the UK – 2020
So far, 2020 has been anything but an easy year, and will undoubtedly be marked in the history books as one of the most challenging years of our generation due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The COVID-19 virus has taken many lives, and at the time of writing this article, the pandemic is still very active. The economic consequences will be massive, and it will take a lot of time for the world to recover from the effects the virus has on the economy.
However, many positive things have risen from these dark times. People have learned to cherish some things they neglected in the havoc of a regular working day. And even governments decided to change things in areas they didn’t focus that much before, one of them being cycling.
Electric Bikes: A major investment
The UK government announced a huge package on May 9th 2020 which outlined that it will invest more than two billion pounds into walking and cycling, making the country more bicycle-friendly than ever before.
Major infrastructural projects will include building bicycle lanes and optimizing streets to make them suitable for cycling. This will involve widening the pavements, creating cycle-only corridors, as well as all the necessary conditions to make cycling much safer than it is now.
The overall idea is to significantly relieve the pressure on public transportation, but also create a greener, and healthier commuting option.
Pros and cons of regular bicycles
A regular bicycle needs no introduction, and we all know of the benefits it offers, including:
- A regular bike allows you to move reasonably fast, especially in cities, as you are immune to traffic jams.
- They are a very healthy travel option, and one of the best and safest forms of cardio, suitable for overweight people, as well as people who have joint issues, as it is low-impact.
- A “green” form of transportation and because it doesn’t use fuel, the maintenance is very cheap.
- You don’t have to worry about parking (tickets) – Yay!
However, cycling also has some major flaws:
- As a cyclist, you are very vulnerable, and without cycling lanes, you are always at risk from unsafe car drivers.
- Cycling is not easy, and if you are not living in an area of flat terrain, you are likely to sweat a lot when going uphill.
- Not everyone is in great shape to cover larger distances on a bicycle to travel to and from work.
Fortunately, the UK government is about to fix the first issue with more cycling lanes and using an electric bike solves the second problem.
The electric bike – A commuter-friendly bicycle upgrade
An electric bike makes use of an electric motor which makes cycling much easier. The key highlight of these bicycles is the “pedal-assist” or “assisted biking” option.
Pedal-assist, as the name suggests, makes the pedalling much easier. You still need to turn the pedals, but hills won’t be a problem again. In other words, you will be able to go uphill no matter your fitness level.
This will save your knees and joints even more, but will also save you from having to take a shower in the office because you are soaking with sweat. For us, the pedal assist is the number one reason why electric bikes are a superior commuting option for most people.
However, riding an electric bike is still exercise, make no mistake about it. It is easier, but you are still required to pedal, and it is a very healthy activity.
Additionally, an electric bike can reach high speeds, and you will be able to use the bike lanes that are traffic-jam-immune. You will also be able to move much faster than you would with a regular bike, saving even more time. Not to mention how much money you will save by not buying petrol as you would for a car.
How fast does an electric bike go?
If you are wondering how fast an electric bike goes, that depends on the model.
Faster models can go up to 30 mph, but that also depends on your weight, and you’ll need to look it up from model to model.
Also, in the UK, the bike needs to stop assisting you when you go over 15.5 mph, at least if you want to use the cycling lanes, so keep that in mind.
Where can I charge an electric bike?
You can charge an e-bike battery basically anywhere there is a socket. That means, if you bring your charger with you, or leave it in your office, you can charge the battery at your office, and charge it again once you get home, or during the night.
If you are touring, you can bring the charger with you, and ask at restaurants, coffee shops, or bike shops for permission to charge your bike, so you can continue your ride. Just keep in mind that it takes some time to charge the battery (depending on the model), so don’t expect just to top up and go in a few minutes.
It is handy to know that batteries on certain electric bikes can take you up to 100 miles, but that depends on the model, terrain, weight and the way you ride.
How much does it cost to charge an electric bike?
Charging an electric bike is very cheap and it will usually cost you 3-10 pennies.
Compare that to petrol bills, and you will get the picture of why e-bikes are so green and budget-friendly.
In the next section, you will see how the initial purchase of an electric bike doesn’t have to be expensive, either.
Best Electric Bikes under £500: OUXI Electric Bike – £477
First, on our list, we have the OUXI Electric Bike. A great e-bike with three riding modes, nice design, and solid autonomy.
- Three riding modes – electric, assisted, and pedal-only
- Foldable, great design
- 15 mph – won’t break the UK legal speed limit
- Range up to 40 miles
- Top-end of the budget at £477
Up next, we have the Windgoo electric bike.
This foldable bike has a good range, can go pretty fast and has a good build quality.
- Easy to fold
- Great features – horn, headlights, disc brakes
- 25 mph, up to 25 km range
- Great price at under £290
- 4-5 hours charging time
The movable 500W 48V 10.4AH electric bike slightly breaks the budget, but if you invest £50 more, you will get a full-sized electric bicycle, which is a big plus.
- Full-sized bike, traditional design
- 30-35 miles cruising distance
- High speed of 26 mph
- Slightly over budget at £550
Best electric bikes under £500: Final round-up
Electric bikes offer a clear advantage during the Coronavirus pandemic – they let you move around without risking your health by using public transportation.
Of our top three electric bike options, Digi Helpdesk would opt for the OUXI Electric Bike. With three riding modes, it’s folding design and 15 mph speed, this electric bike is perfect for bike riding beginners as well as seasoned riders.
But, once the government fulfils their promise, and makes roads more bike-friendly, you can bet that e-bikes will become more and more popular, and a valuable way to commute through every UK city.
That’s why we think they are the future of transportation, and an excellent investment to make today. Remember – stay safe, stay alert, stay home, protect the NHS and save lives.